Blood Red Angel - 24 x 36 - oil on canvas, topStudy for Blood Red Angel #1 - 9 x 12 - watercolor, middleStudy for Blood Red Angel #2 - 9 x 12 - watercolor, bottom
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My angel series continues in this recent angel inspired entirely by the intense red cloth falling over her reclining form. In looking for a counterpoint accent to the intensity of the red, my mind obsessed over a fruit with similar visual and alliterative qualties: a Blood Red Orange, which subsequently inspired the title.
Placement of the orange was the most challenging aspect of this painting, as you can see from the two watercolor studies. I wanted the orange to compliment the composition, not lead the eye out of it, as I discovered was happening in the middle image. I also did two separate watercolor studies (not posted) of the orange itself. In order to do the orange studies I had to peel, paint, then eat several oranges!
To create the yellow gold background area I used Daniel Smith metallic Pale Gold from the Luminescents line, the only metalic oil paint I've found that sufficiently mimics gold leaf (without the expense of gold leaf). To simulate an antiqued surface I glazed over with thinned Burnt Sienna and Sap Green.
After evaluation, I think the orange itself is the focal point of the composition, in that you cannot help but wonder, why is it there? What does it mean? To which I say, only the viewer can answer!
Also, in terms of the recent popularity of vampires, blood or any related medieval concept made popular by the entertainment industry, I have to stress that this angel is not of that genre. My angels are gentle, kind and oftentimes, sleeping!